You're standing in front of your Family and Friends prepared to make your dreams of a lifetime come true. It's at that moment that you are grateful that you have a professional guiding your ceremony. The Supreme Court has finally ruled upon this issue. Now is the time to plan your perfect LGBT Wedding. I have been performing Commitment Ceremonies since the beginning, and I am so pleased this has opened up for everyone to marry the one they Love. Contact Reverend Jacqui Weiks, Your LGBT Wedding Officiant
We are an open and affirming, multi-racial and multi-cultural, assessable to all, peace and justice oriented body of faith. We go into the community and God's disciples. Grounded by the teachings of Jesus the Christ, we uplift Christ's goodness, create spiritual community, and care for God's people and God's world. Dynamic hope, incredible compassion, extravagant hospitality, and radical love are our core values.
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Is LGBT Income Disparity a Real Problem?
The stereotype of the affluent LGBT community has been around for a long time, bolstered by portrayals in shows like “Modern Family” and the cultural idea of LGBT people with high disposable income and no children, living in vibrant urban neighborhoods. For most of the LGBT community, however, this stereotype is little more than a myth: in fact, study after study has shown higher levels of LGBT income disparity than most people realize.
LGBT income disparity is an issue that affects the entire community: where LGBT people live, the opportunities they have to work and start families, and the level of safety and security within a community is in many ways directly related to income and employment. For many, LGBT income disparity is a more pressing issue than making progress on marriage equality because it’s so inherently tied to the ability to live in safe neighborhoods and support a family.
The Hard Facts of LGBT Income Disparity
Because the myth of LGBT affluence is so pervasive, many people have unrealistic ideas about the financial state of the LGBT community. However, many studies conducted over the past several years–measuring everything from household income, unemployment numbers, and bias concerning LGBT job applicants, illustrate the day-to-day reality for LGBT Americans:
- Food Insecurity – A study conducted by the Williams Institute in 2014 found that 29 percent of LGBT adults experienced food insecurity–periods where they found themselves unable to afford food for themselves or their families.
- Pay Inequality – Various studies of pay inequality in the United States have shown that gay and bisexual men in the U.S. earn 10 to 32 percent less than similarly qualified heterosexual men, and are less likely to be hired in the first place if their resume indicates membership in an LGBT organization.
- Poverty Risk – According to a wide-ranging Gallup survey that collected data from over 120,000 individuals, 35 percent of LGBT adults have incomes of less than $24,000 a year, compared to 24 percent for the general population.
These findings show that members of the LGBT community are much more prone to poverty and unemployment than most people would assume. Far from being carefree, affluent urbanites, a large percentage of the LGBT populace is just struggling to make ends meet.
The Disproportionate Nature of LGBT Income Disparity
Income inequality isn’t just concentrated within the LGBT community: in fact, the community itself has significant internal issues when it comes to disparity and poverty. Lesbian households, for example, tend to have lower household income (in part due the gender pay gap that exists everywhere you look). And within the transgender community, income disparity and poverty are even more pressing issues:
- Trans Poverty – A 2015 study conducted by the Center for American Progress and the Movement Advancement Project found that trans people are much more likely to live in poverty, with four times as many members of the community reporting yearly household income below $10,000 when compared to the general population.
- Trans Unemployment – Transgender people are also disproportionately affected by unemployment, contributing to poverty within the community: one study found that transgender individuals are twice as likely to find themselves unemployed than the rest of the population, and much more likely to experience harassment within the workplace.
- Trans Income – Even within the transgender community, disparity is an issue: according to one study, female transgender workers’ income decreased by nearly a third following their gender transitions while male transgender employees’ income slightly increased following their transition.
Because the transgender community is disproportionately impacted by issues of poverty and income disparity, it’s critical that conversations around closing the LGBT pay gap include transgender advocates and issues. By combating the marginalization of transgender people, we can ensure that gains made to eliminate LGBT income disparity truly benefit the entire community.
How Do We Eliminate LGBT Income Disparity?
While these studies provide a great deal of illumination about the current state of LGBT finances in America, what’s less clear is how the LGBT community can drive progress on this important issue. Perhaps having a greater number of LGBT executives will begin to eliminate hiring and compensation bias against LGBT people, or maybe expanded legal protections for LGBT workers will ensure that compensation and hiring decisions don’t exclude LGBT people. Most of all, change can only come from growing public awareness that this issue even exists.
We’d love to hear from you about your experiences: have you climbed the corporate ladder despite&ndashor even because of–your LGBT identity? What can we do to help stop employment discrimination and pay disparities for the LGBT community? Let us know in the comments!